Having graduated from UCFB’s BA (Hons) Multimedia Sports Journalism programme earlier this year, Georgia Stevens now works on BT Sport’s Ultimate Goal Academy Show alongside playing professional football in Portugal’s top flight. In tonight’s show, she’ll be watching her own game, as a match between England Universities Squad and the Ultimate Goal Academy squad is broadcast for the first time.

Here, the UCFB Etihad Campus graduate tells us about the game, her time with England Universities and her work at BT Sport…

Tell us about playing for England Universities against Ultimate Goal Academy and how that felt.

To be called up for England Universities was a massive honour for me. Having already represented my country at youth level, to be asked to represent my country on behalf of my university was something very special, as it was a reflection of the two things I’ve worked so hard for.

Playing against the Ultimate Goal Academy was a great experience, they were a great bunch of girls that I’d become close to having lived with them for a week beforehand as part of working on the show. It was a full circle moment for me to be playing against the team, on the show that helped kickstart my professional career in sport.

What was playing in the England Universities squad like more broadly? How did this help improve your game?

The main thing for me was being surrounded by likeminded individuals who were passionate about football and their education. To have conversations about how our dissertations were going in the same breath as how pre-season was going was really refreshing for me.

Being coached by Becky Langley was brilliant too. The detail her and the staff gave us in such a short period of time was second to none and I think that really reflected in how we performed as a team and in the result. I have to thank Rebecca Sawiuk, who is one of the coaches at Ultimate Goal Academy and my coach in the previous season, for getting me involved with the setup and the work she does with the English University setup.

You also happen to work on the show at BT Sport! Tell us about the role and what it involves.

Yeah, it was a busy few weeks! I was approached by the producer Alicia Ferguson-Cook, who I became close friends with after my season. She explained there was a role for Junior Researcher in preparation for the new season if I was interested - as I’d already been working as a freelancer alongside her on a separate project.

Of course I said yes! The months leading up to filming, I helped to scour through hundreds of applications and with setting up some very meticulous spreadsheets. We then went into the interview phase, interviewing those on our shortlist and seeing their personalities either over the phone or via zoom. From that information I then created what’s called a ‘deck’ of all of our shortlisted applicants with their football history and personal stories - this was then pitched to the production company ZigZag and Insight TV.

I continued as researcher, creating updated decks for each of the producers and camera team so they were prepared for each interview with each player. I also helped prepare the players for their press meetings and provided the press with the information about the players. Finally, I was able to set up and operate a camera for our ‘diary room’ which has featured heavily in the show already. I was trusted to conduct many exit interviews which are the final interviews with each player and coach that is used throughout the series for their insight into the experience.

What have been some of the highlights so far?

For me, seeing my name on the credits and seeing the footage I’ve filmed make the final edit is a priceless experience that I’m very thankful for.

What have you taken into the role from your BA (Hons) Multimedia Sports Journalism degree?

Being able to apply multiple skills to a job has allowed me to offer more than what the job description entails. This has led to further opportunities and an all-round better experience when filming. Also, it’s been invaluable to be knowledgeable around camera terminology through the broadcast journalism module as well as knowing some dos and don’ts when filming thanks to media law.

You’re also a professional player for Lank FC Vilaverdense in Portugal’s top flight. How are you finding this?

Living in Braga is an amazing experience and I’m excited to travel the rest of Portugal now that we have qualified for the second phase of the league, competing against the giants of Benfica and Sporting Lisbon.

What advice would you give to anyone looking to study at UCFB?

I’d encourage anyone to study at UCFB. It was the perfect place for me to remain committed to my career as a footballer whilst also studying. As for job opportunities, I don’t think there’s anywhere better. Our Employability and Enrichment scheme and team are second to none and there’s always some opportunities available for everyone.

For women, I’d say have a look at some of the scholarships available as they can be a great starting point. But otherwise, apply. There needs to be more educated and qualified women in sport and UCFB is the perfect place to kickstart that journey.